My First Week at Tante Marie's

Friends and co-workers are already asking me where the goods are. But it turns out I won't be taking any home because they go to a much better cause. Mary (Tante Marie herself) started Food Runners in 1987, a nonprofit that delivers food from restaurants to those in need in San Francisco. All of our leftovers (that are edible) go to those in greater need- hooray!

On my second night I successfully made a dark caramel sauce and almost successfully made a creme anglaise, which is still cooling in the fridge for Saturday's class. After a lot of egg whisking and boiling sugar Chef Cindy Muschet demo'ed pate a choux (cream puff dough), which we'll dive right into at 8am on Saturday along with creating pastry cream for eclairs.

Here's our second class in pictures

Coffee Pot de Creme
Maple Custard

Creme Caramel


First night at Tante Marie's

I just finished my first night of Pastry school at Tante Marie's Cooking School in San Francisco! I'm exhausted and full of cookies, but I can definitely say all of the cookie theories I've talked about have been confirmed and apparently I have to stop under-baking my cookies (even though they are most delicious that way, apparently they're not "sale-able").

I'm off to read more about butter as it relates to cookies as I drift into a sugary dream...


Tangy Buttermilk Waffles

I love waking up Saturday mornings knowing I have an entire weekend for myself. I always look forward to sleeping in but rarely does that end up happening. However, waking up early has it's perks! I had plenty of time to make these deliciously tangy buttermilk waffles, topped with sour cream and blueberry preserves. (Photos still with the iPhone 3G.)

I inherited this ancient waffle iron from my mom but it still works like a charm. Replacing milk with buttermilk gave the waffle its unique flavor. I was planning to have a simple waffle with maple syrup, but the buttermilk and egg flavors came through so much, that adding a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of blueberry preserves balanced the whole thing out very well. This meal will make you feel very sophisticated, like a French Aristocrat. If you speak French it will really help this breakfast experience. Bon Apetite!

Tangy Buttermilk Waffles
adapted from the Joy of Cooking

1. Sift into a large bowl before measuring:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

2. Separate the whites and yolks from 3 eggs.

3. Mix together in a medium bowl:
3 egg yolks
2 tsp melted butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

4. Make a whole in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the liquid mixture and combine with a few strokes.

5. Beat the 3 egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold them into the batter until just blended.

6. Pour it into your waffle maker.

Top with sour cream and jam or honey.


Pastry School

Tante Marie's baking program finally begins next week. I'm really looking forward to everything I'm going to learn but also sharing it all with you here! Prepare yourselves for scrumptious pictures and recipes and some candid stories about training to be a professional baker (all while leading a duel-life as a full time employee at an SF tech start-up.)

And here are some pictures to leave you with for the evening. This will be the last iPhone 3G picture you see here.

cheddar, fontina & gorgonzola mac & cheese with quinoa noodles


My First Delivery

The other day I got my 50th Facebook "like" for BakedLove. Setting and accomplishing small steps like this of a huge goal provides me the fuel to keep charging away at baking and blogging (and so does all the positive feedback I've been getting from people online!)

I promised the 50th person on Facebook a baked good of their choice and my old friend, Kara, was the winner. Kara lives about 40 miles away, and as a San Francisco resident, I get around on foot. Keeping this promise could have turned out to be a huge hassle since a baked good delivery is time-sensitive and fragile. Any mail system would not do- TaskRabbit to the Rescue!

TaskRabbit gets you in touch with friendly, reliable people who can help you get just about anything you need done, and put some free time back into your life. (Full disclosure: I work for TaskRabbit, but even if I didn't I would still think the service rocks.)


Having time to bake on a work night is difficult enough, without having to worry about which mailing service to use, actually getting myself there and packing the cookies for overnight delivery. So, the night before I baked Kara's peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, I posted a Task for someone to pick up the cookies from me at work and deliver to Kara- Stress-free!

With TaskRabbit I was able keep my promise to myself to bake, blog and do more with my time! I can't emphasize enough how easy TaskRabbit's service is to deliver on my promise of baked goods. And who can put a price on having fresh baked goods delivered by a friendly person?


Raw Peanut Butter Power Cookies

More raw power cookies! The 'power' is for all the good-for-you stuff that goes in them. Raw cookies are also appealing because they are just so easy to make on a work night, then you have a healthy snack throughout the week. And, if you work at a San Francisco Bay Area tech start-up, chances are your co-workers will be foodies and not be scarred to try something labeled, 'vegan', or 'gluten-free', or 'healthy' and 'cookie' in the same sentence.

 Raw Vegan Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
2/3 C natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1 C almond flour
1/4 C ground flax seed
1/4 C unsweetened shredded coconut (first, toast it lightly in the oven to bring out more flavor)
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla paste
White chocolate chips to top (premium quality- crappy white chocolate chips may contain hydrogenated and sometimes animal fat, always check the label...)

Mix it all together and shape into cookies.